FOUND: A Guy Who Doesn’t Like Sports

By Cazey Williams

According to my Facebook newsfeed, a football game happened Sunday , and somebody lost. It was either the Packers or the Cowboys, or maybe both? Maybe there were simultaneous games? No idea. The only sports game that I actually remember (and that doesn’t mean I care) is the Superbowl. I only know when it is because somebody told me they always host a winter ball the night before, and I’m going to said winter ball. And no, I won’t be watching the Superbowl; I’ll probably go to the gym because it will be empty. *rejoice*

Welcome to my life: I am a heterosexual male who neither follows nor likes sports. My sexuality only matters because we live in a heteronormative society where if I wasn’t male, it might be acceptable for me to change the channel to HGTV during the World Series. (Did you know the World Series isn’t just one game? I mean, the name gives it away, but my intuition never picked up on it.)

It’s not for lack of trying that I’m not into sports. My parents enrolled me in T-ball and soccer when I was a tyke. My biggest memory in soccer is standing on the field watching the rest of the team chase the ball. And no, I wasn’t the goalie.

This past summer, Sara asked me to join a dodgeball team with her. I will do almost anything for a story, so I agreed with the reminder that “I’m not coordinated, so I can’t promise we’ll get many goals.”

First, Sara tells me, “There are no goals in dodgeball. Haven’t you played?”

Me: “Yeah, in pre-school and elementary school. We’d kick the ball and run the bases.”

” . . . That’s kickball.”

“Oh, same thing.” Except they’re not. Oh, they’re so not. And I get that when I think about the word, but in my mind both are just a physical activity that involves a spherical object.

Sara retracted the offer to be on the team.

Thankfully I am aware of my ignorance and don’t try to hide it. Friends quiz me all the time to see just how dumb I am.

“How many yards are in a football field?”

“Fifty.”

Dead stares. Hey, I’m half right.

“Which inning is the longest in baseball?”

“Erm.” Let’s start with how many innings are in baseball? (And I still don’t get why, probabilistically speaking, they aren’t all the same length.)

My lack of sports knowledge has led to some interesting situations. In general, I try to avoid sports-related talk, but this past year I became events chair for my alumni chapter – and consequently, I was asked to set up football game viewing parties. My cup of tea! I book the space, set up the decorations, and people show up. The caveat is, I’m supposed to attend. I usually place myself between my friends, choosing the chair whose back is to the TV, and proceed to scroll through Twitter for the next three hours.

Soon after the first event, the president of my alma mater’s athletic club reached out to me about cohosting events – and he wanted to meet in person. Me aloud to my fellow exec board: “Does anyone want to join me for the meeting? (Because I don’t know the difference between a goal vs. score vs. touchdown, so I don’t think I’m the best representative here. Also, who plays on our team?)”

No one could join. The meeting went fine other than the pitch where if I donated $25 annually to the athletic club, I could receive priority seating at home games and be put into a raffle for tickets to the Final Four. Those are definitely in the top two of things that extrinsically motivate me.

Recently Sara invited me to accompany her to a high school basketball game; her friend was the coach. I replied, “Well, we can hang out after the game.” When we did, she told me the final score, which was supposed to imply a tight game, but points mean nothing to me because they’re so arbitrary. All I know is that in football you can get six, seven, two, three, etc. points. (I considered reading the NFL Beginner’s Guide to Football, but decided that was too much research for this post.) And tennis, which I actually do enjoy: love-love? Personally, I’m a fan of integers that logically ascend.

Anyway, Sara tried explaining (she eventually gave up) by talking about the lines on the court. It all reminded me of childhood and playing hopscotch on those lines during recess. Now recess is a sport I like.

Aerial Anxiety

By Sara Woznicki

Sometimes I’m convinced that I can make an everyday event a total nail biter. Like that time I needed to fly home. The anxiety started the moment I needed to buy a ticket. Fun fact: trying to fly out of Richmond sucks. You can’t just fly from Richmond to your destination. No, you need to fly several hours out of your way to make it home. And on top of that, there’s millions of options to select from.richmond to ct
After stressing for several hours about when I was going to leave, I finally settled on Richmond to Charlotte to Connecticut. Then came the stress about navigating the airports. One of my worst qualities is my directional abilities. And by that, I mean I don’t have any. So I legit studied the maps and talked it through with my more well-travelled roommates.

The night before takeoff, I packed my bags with almost nothing, because I had no idea what I was and wasn’t allowed to have. I mean I basically didn’t bring home anything that could remotely be construed as problematic. Then I studied the maps a bit more. And then I had anxiety over the flight times I so laboriously contemplated and decided not to pick.

I had a restless night of sleep beforehand, and then it eventually hit me: there are children who ride planes alone. I AM MORE THAN CAPABLE.

Phew. Feeling a little bit better.

I got to the airport over two hours early, ya know to make it through security in time. It took all of five minutes, so I got food right by my gate and hunkered down. About an hour into the waiting, I was informed my flight would be delayed. Then delayed a bit more. Then they threatened to make me check my bag. Ugh.

We made it onto the plane, and it struck me: my connection is going to be a bear to make. So naturally, the entire hour long flight I’m sitting perched by the window and staring at my phone clock, contemplating if we’d make it.

We do make it in time, but land in a different concourse than anticipated. All of a sudden, I had only 15 minutes to make it from D to C. You’d think those should be neighbor concourses, right? Yerp, not. I had to run for ten minutes to make my plane. I definitely rolled my suitcase over multiple people’s toes.

I am legit sweating by the time I make it, and the flight attendant forces me to bag check. I was horrendously upset because waiting in baggage claim will take even more time. But I do it, just thankful to be on the flight. I walk down the aisle with all eyes on me, good olde sweaty Sara.

Some lady was in my seat by the time I make it back there, so I have to then ask her to scoot over. She smells of fruity candy and is an armrest hog. Not impressed.

Halfway through descending, my ear pops and I have a blinding headache, right where Harry Potter’s scar is on his face, but on mine. My seat neighbor is staring at me as I give myself a face massage. Thank gosh, we land. Freedom, finally freedom after over six hours of travel.

But not.

We are locked in the plane. You read that right:

LOCKED IN THE PLANE.

All they said was maintenance issues and the cold. I sit back down and sulk, while also sending my sister sad text messages. Apparently, they were making baggage claim announcements about our bags before we even got let out of the plane. When I shared that with my fellow locked in compatriots, no one found it as particularly funny as I did at this point. Yay, air travel.

Shutterbug Selfie

By Cazey Williams

Last Saturday my two friends and I grabbed dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. It’s a small family place as in, every customer is someone you may have seen on the sidewalk while walking your dog or driving to the grocery store.

I noticed an older gentleman seated smack dab in the center of the restaurant – reading a newspaper. Mind you, it’s 8:30 PM on a Saturday (though if we’re judging, I should add that my friends and I ordered a mimosa pitcher). And by older, I don’t mean octogenarian-maybe-he’s-a-widower status. More like he could be a silver fox.

This prompted my friend to say that she always fears eating out alone because she’s afraid people will judge her. “When I was younger, I used to say that’s one of the reasons I have to get married, so I’ll never have to go to dinner alone.”

I have no problem eating out alone, though I seldom do it. But I really respect the independents who do do it. Me: “I want to take a photo.”

“Of the guy?” my friends reply.

“Yeah, I want to Insta him. I want to be like him when I’m 50.”

“It’s going to be obvious you’re taking a picture.”

Which was true if I pointed the camera directly at my New York Times-browsing idol. My neighbors, who have two kids and a poodle and were currently enjoying tiramisu, might have noticed me twisting in my seat and angling my phone – but that’s amateur creeping. I am a paparazzo. I take surreptitious photos of people all the time. Okay, like, every other month if we’re being factual.

Me: “No, I’m gonna take a fake selfie.”

This is my signature move. If I want to snap a photo of something that is mildly inappropriate given setting or context, I say I’m taking a selfie – but child, please. The camera is focused on you while I cheese away. However, the high back of our booth prevented a clear shot of my current prospect. So I handed my phone to my friend: “Take a photo of me.”

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I retract my smile. Too blurry. Try again.

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Did you get the picture?

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We got him, boys!

Brunch Review: The Flat White

By Cazey Williams and Sara Woznicki

Starbuck's Flat WhiteOrdinarily, one consumes food for brunch. However, on this day, Sara and Cazey decided to try Starbuck’s new addition to their menu, the Flat White. Because sometimes you have so much caffeine, you just forget about the food – or is that just me?

Now if you’re like our one friend, you may be asking, “What is a flat white?”

Cazey: Are you even American? Do you go to Starbucks?

Sara rationally explains: The flat white is the Australian drink of choice, which Starbucks now brought to America. It’s an espresso with a ton of frothy milk.

TLDR: Microfoam is what separated this espresso drink from the pack. And it’s from Australia, you cultured soul (so maybe it’s named after the Great White?).

Four friends accompanied us on our Starbucks outing. We resembled the Friends ensemble minus we were in Richmond, VA, not NYC. “Can we have a round of flat whites?”

Here is where we should disclose that Cazey arrived with preexisting bias. While the flat white review was his idea, he also already decided he wanted the review’s title to be “Flat White Falls Flat.” Sara told him he couldn’t do that, as the whole point of reviewing things is to come in with an open mind.

However, Sara did come in with a few concerns of her own. Primarily: It better be worth all these calories (she’s currently in second in her Biggest Loser competition). Secondly, Sara drinks one cup of black coffee everyday. She only adds a drop of skim milk to iced coffee, and never, ever has whole milk in any of her beverages.

Cazey also already decided the flat white price was ridiculous. $3.75 for a tall? A gallon of milk costs less. Sara thinks everything is overpriced at Starbucks, so she sort of assumed it was going to be the same for the Flat White. All hail capitalism.

All week we asked our friends if they had tried the flat white:

“It’s not life-changing.” – Friend A

“It didn’t change my life.” – Friend B

“It tastes like a basic latte that’s not that great. It tastes like any other drink here that’s not sweet.” – Friend C

“I love it because it has no sugar.” – Friend D

“I’ll have a chai latte.” – Friend E

“It’s quite delightful. It was very smooth and easy to drink, even though I usually like to add sugar and flavoring. But I liked it just how it was.” - Friend F

“I haven’t tried it because I can’t drink milk.” – Barista

“Can I have two pumps white mocha?” – Friend G

Sara ordered the straight flat white, tall (12 oz. for the Dunkin’ Donuts readers). Cazey ordered a grande (16 oz.) and then immediately regretted the $4.95 price tag. We both went with whole milk because we were told that is the only way, which is 170 calories Sara will never get back.

Look at that foam. Not so micro.

Look at that foam. Not so micro.

Cazey was surprised by the volume while Sara thought it lacked body, but admired the texture. It was fun to feel the foam on your tongue. Unfortunately for Sara, her drink lacked the signature dot. Cazey had his, and the dot maintained form until he reached the dregs.

But Friend C was right: This was a latte that tasted like half-and-half. And had a wall of microfoam that was not worth $4.95 even if the Coffee Mermaid made it. Sponges cost three for $5 at Target. And can Starbucks provide a spoon for this mess leftover in the cup?

Of course, there’s the fact that Cazey has the caffeine spins post-flat white. He’ll give it that. Sara prefers her coffee black, and not with a $5 price tag, but the Flat White is drinkable.

Gym Mishaps

By Cazey Williams

I work out regularly at the gym, and every so often – aka every other week – I either forget something or do something that makes me cringe and then go tweet about it. Here’s a sampling:

Colorful socks. Last night I showed up at the gym to go running only to pull down my pants (don’t worry, I was wearing shorts beneath!) and see I forgot to change my socks. Oh, I was in socks, but they were pink argyle socks. Thin, too. Not the worst thing that can happen, but like . . . I wasn’t trying to make a statement on the treadmill catwalk. Or get a blister on my heel.

No underwear. Last week I did a morning workout before work. After showering, I got dressed. You can imagine my alarm when I realized I forgot my underwear. I had pants, a shirt, even a belt, but no boxer briefs. Ermm. I debated wearing my dried-sweat compression shorts beneath my jeans, but declined after smelling them. So there really was no option but to free ball. It’s not like CVS sells underwear (or does it?). Worse, I walk to work from the gym. So much chafing.

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Cracking ankles and bleeding knees. The preface is, my right ankle cracks. As in I have had concerned people stop and ask me what is that sound. Me: ” . . . My ankle.” So I’m in yoga class, and yoga always has me inspecting my legs with all those forward folds. Usually I’m picking at lint between my toes, but this day I noticed the scab on my knee seemed ready to come off – so why not remove it during monkey pose? Cue bleeding. I didn’t notice the river until I was in downward dog and then – crap!!! I hurry to escape to a first aid kit without disturbing my peaceful yogi neighbors, but – crack crack crack! My ankle cracked the whole way to the door. Meanwhile I’m trying to stop the blood. And then I had to go back to get my stuff. Crack crack crack.

Shorts that don’t dry. I have these gray shorts that when they get wet, the damp spot just does not disappear. So it’s ten minutes before yoga class, I wash my hands, and oops, some water hits my crotch. No question, it looks like I dribbled on myself with urine. What to do, what to do. Of course I could just hope people don’t think I wet myself – or I could splash more water on myself because that will make it obvious I didn’t pee myself; the sink just erupted on me. Nope. That makes it obvious you totally, irrevocably, evacuated on yourself. That yoga class was the longest of my life. Damp crotch pose, anyone? Moral: Only buy black shorts.

Cazey Got Published on Elite Daily!

By Cazey Williams

Friday just became even more of a celebration because I got published on Elite Daily! This is my first article for them, and it deals with how marriage has become a dating barrier.

Please read it, like it, bop it, share it, write comments, bop it, tweet it, tell your grandma, etc. I really appreciate all the support that we get from readers – just the fact you visit our blog! Overall, this has been a big week for Sara and I since she also got published by Elite Daily on Monday.

Now, check out my article *beaming emoji*:

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/marriage-new-dating-barrier/899177/

E-Zhard’s More Like It: A Consumer Review

By Sara Woznicki

I live in Richmond, but am originally from Connecticut, so going home is always a pain in the ass. One action I took to try to ease the pain is getting an E-ZPass. I’m assuming everyone knows what that is, but just to be sure, it’s a little white transponder that you put on your windshield and then debits money out of your account when you’re driving so you don’t have to deal with change and people at toll booths.

Sounds awesome and easy, right! Just like the name! But it’s not!

You register the little transponder to your car and then load enough money to get you home onto it beforehand, so it should be smooth sailing. But of course it’s not. When I got home to Connecticut, I got an email saying my account is in the negative.

That means I spent over $65 in tolls, one way. What the hell?

I call them and talk to a girl that does not seemed mildly interested in my problems, but agrees to look into why in the hell I was charged as a truck when I drove over the George Washington Bridge. I hang up, but not before uttering, “This is reflecting poorly on the whole institution of tolling.” What a burn, Sara.

Then on my return trip, I also get charged as a truck again. I call, this time it takes me 3 tries to get through because I kept getting hung up on. But by the third time, I knew enough to start by confirming my phone number, name, email and address (in that order). And this lady seems wonderful, a real customer service gem. She inquired to her boss why my car was doing that, reported all the mis-charges and didn’t even force me to add even more money to my sad account. Alas, nice but useless.

My problem is still nowhere resolved, and this is nowhere near the end of the saga. I’m going to jump ahead a bit, because the calls in the interim are long, tedious and boring. Here’s a summary:

  • Send us your car registration, so I do that.
  • We need your car registration by end of day, but wait, I already did that.
  • Okay, sorry, we got it. Our bad. You are all set.

Now we’re to the real heart of this story, and why I’ve lost my faith in the E-ZPass system. One day, my roommate throws me a package, which turns out to be from E-ZPass. The next day, I call them to ask about it. One guy doesn’t know, so he hangs up. The next lady passes me to a manager. The manager needs to hang up on me to check on it. I FINALLY reach a human being ready to talk to me, and she’s a RAGING BITCH WITH NO SENSE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE (sorry mom about those words, but they are accurate).

I explain to her that I am exacerbated with this problem, and I don’t want to have to pay for a new transponder, when I haven’t even gotten my original money back yet, AND they never confirmed with me that they wanted to send me one in the first place. She then tells me I need to send one back or I get charged even more money. I then get heated and say something along the lines of, “Why do I owe you any money when you sent me something I did not want or ask for?”

The bitch just goes, “Well you need it, and since you opened it, you can’t send it back to us.” I then informed her that any normal human being opens packages mailed to them, and that it is not my responsibility to pay for her problems.

The bitch goes, “I’m sure you have a smart phone, so you can go ahead and drive yourself down to the Richmond office to return it.” I repeated that this is still straining me when it’s not my responsibility.

She then tells me she’ll email the address to me, so I can deliver it there or be charged.

What the hell E-ZPass? Get your girl in line. Because you’ve still made your mistakes my financial burden — and even worse, a burden on my time, which I will never get back. Nor will I ever get the taste of eternal rage out of my mouth for your bitch of a customer service supervisor and your lack of empathy for consumers.

 

American Horror Story: The Netflix Betrayals

By Cazey Williams

Previously I discussed the twenty-something epidemic, The Netflix Binge. Today I will narrate a nasty side effect: The Netflix Betrayal.

I am not the first to write on the potential pitfall of agreeing to watch a Netflix show with your friends. You think you’ll bond – you’ll have more inside jokes to reference – but occasionally strife strikes. Here is my tale:

My friend invited me to watch the premiere of the current season of American Horror Story. Afterward, I couldn’t bear to wait seven days for episode two (did you see the killer clown?! I needed to know his story!). My friend suggested we watch the past seasons in the meantime. We watched the second season in a week. I’m proud to say (maybe embarrassed, too), I was so into AHS that I convinced my out-of-town weekend guests to watch the show while we pregamed the bars. However, this sets the stage for the betrayals: My out-of-town friend left my laptop signed into her Netflix account….

Sister Jude hand wave

The Betrayals

1.) Somewhere near episode 8 in season two, I Wikipedia’d the season. This isn’t something new for me: As a writer, I enjoy a surprise as much as knowing the synopsis beforehand and watching the art of how it unfolds. I often read film plots before seeing the movie. But now I knew how it all ended – but I kept my lips tight. Safe for now.

2.) We watched season one after season two. Around episode 10, my so-called friends decided they wanted to bar-hop rather than see what happens with Vivien’s child. Well, I haven’t been dependent on anyone since the age of 17. Remember how my friend left me signed into her Netflix account?

Constance AHS Rejoice

Cazey watched the rest of season one in the dark of his bedroom. And then he re-watched the finale with his friends days later. They were never the wiser. (Until they read that.)

3.) Life got in the way of watching season three. The holidays approached. I couldn’t wait any longer. I still had access to my friend’s Netflix account. So after finals, I treated myself and watched season three. It took me three nights.

Fiona I have no soul AHS

4.) Now up-to-date with AHS, I decided why not watch another show with my free Netflix access? Except this time I had been kicked off Netflix. Someone changed their password. I had wondered how long it would take my friend to see AHS in her most recently watched shows – when all her other recommended shows were “Gilmore Girls,” “Sex and the City,” and “Jersey Shore.” But no, friend, no! Of course I never told her I was (ab)using her account, so she may not have known who she spurned. I contemplated mailing her a shredded Netflix subscription. Or glitter.

Fiona whole wide wickened world AHS

5.) Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. My friend and I are heavily intoxicated. AHS comes up (whoops).

Me: “We have to watch season three! I’ve heard it’s the best season, someone told me . . . . “

My friend: “I have a secret . . . I’ve already started it. I’ve seen four episodes.”

. . .

Me: You all can just die Fiona AHS

Actually: Fiona I don't give a shit AHS

Because – and I burst out – “I watched the whole damn season!”

Such a Fiona Goode moment. (See the last four GIFs; that’s Fiona.)

My friend’s eyes widen. “You did?” she gasps.

Me: (fast explaining) “I was going to watch it again with you all. It’s the best season!”

My friend fiercely agrees: “I know! I love it!”

And we moved on from the subject. But a question lingers: Can established traitors ever come together again to watch a Netflix series?

The Netflix Binge

By Cazey Williams

The Netflix binge is a millennial epidemic. It strikes post-brunch – if you even make it out the door for brunch – or one evening while you and your friend(s) debate what you can do that doesn’t involve tipping a bartender. Or you’re already laying by the TV waiting for Domino’s cheesy bread to be delivered. You spend thirty minutes scrolling through the buffet of options (“I haven’t even heard of that” or “Go back, what’s that about?”) until you both squeal at some show you’ve wanted to see – or maybe they’ve seen an episode already, but let’s now embark on this together.

You’re only past the opening credits when the cheesy bread arrives. And once you eat the cheesy bread, you either rewind or pause to catch up because neither of you knows what’s going on.

You will stay on that couch for the next two to 24 hours. When you break, it is because one of you has to go to work or a family emergency arises. Sleep is never cited. And before you part, you sign on the dotted line that you will pick the show back up in nine hours once you’re both home again.

Boromor there is evil there that does not sleep

“Wait, I may go to the gym after work,” someone whines, then retracts: “I guess I’ll skip it.”

Even if you make the wrong selection, you can’t escape. One time I persuaded my friends to watch The Savages. I told them it was an “intelligent dark comedy,” because I had read the reviews. (We’re not talking the sex and drugs Savages movie; this one starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney – serious actors.) “Depressing comedy” may have been a better descriptor:

Savages Philip Seymour Hoffman

Anyway, after we moped through a film about emotionally distant siblings dealing with their dying father’s dementia (a little too close to home personally), we watched Parks and Recreation. For two hours.

Personally I don’t have a Netflix account because I am a millennial and believe everything should be free. Napster paved the way for this line of thought pre-Y2K. I also rarely watch TV due to traumatic experiences with my freshman year roommate. Since that time, I have avoided activities that revolve around flat screen devices. Yet, thankfully, my friends have a ’90s TV aka not a flat screen: A loophole! Thus, in the past year I have managed to binge on both Bates Motel and American Horror Story.

However, this has led to some treachery. Coming in my next post: The Netflix Betrayals. Stay tuned.

 

My First Tinder Experience

By Hayley Petroski*

*Guest blog. If you’re interested in guest blogging, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.

As I sit here watching “The Bachelor,” I can’t help but laugh at the idea that thousands of women basically “apply” online to meet this man with the hopes of marrying him in the end. My laughing came to an abrupt halt when I realized that my own dating life is even less romantic than these women’s.

Today’s dating culture today is dominated by dating sites and apps that are based on looks alone (I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to using these apps). At least on “The Bachelor” they actually get to know each other and for some reason none of the guys/girls are as crazy as the ones I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

The most bizarre story I have to share about dating apps comes from when I had the grand idea to download the infamous “Tinder.” Big mistake.

I open the app with the assumption that I would be talking to normal guys who would attempt to get to know me and then (hopefully) wine and dine me. The very first guy who messages me seemed like a fun person to hang out with, so I went along with the small talk which soon led to some topics I’m not proud of. I thought, “This must be how Tinder is supposed to be.” So for the sake of having a normal Tinder experience I agreed to hang out with this guy later that night.

For some reason I still had the expectation he would come pick me up and we would go out on a casual date. Wrong. So, so wrong.

Excited, I ran to the door when he knocked, and instead of seeing a well-dressed, handsome human being, I find a sloppy drunk in a dirty wife-beater and a beer in his hand. He stumbles in and immediately starts talking about this “rager” tonight we just had to attend. Still in the ridiculous mindset that this was what college-aged, Tinder-goers do, I went along with it. For the experience.

Well, if gaining a new dating experience means watching your “date” get completely wasted, make out with another girl, and having to sober drive him home where he proceeds to wet his pants, then please count me out of the Tinder world forever.

I’ll be sure to apply for the next season of “The Bachelor.” At least when people get drunk on that show, they’re already home.